Wiggins firefighters learn new dive techniques

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Todd Cospelich is a Gulfport native who left the coast almost 30 years ago. Since leaving he became a pharmacist and certified dive instructor. Last year he moved to Wiggins and saw a need to help his community. He is a volunteer dive instructor with the Wiggins Fire Department and has a heart to help others.

"I mean if you look here today we'll probably have about 15 guys here that could be doing lots of other things this afternoon, but they're here doing this. And it's that dedication that makes this stuff work," said Cospelich.

He tries to teach them new techniques to make their dives more effective. On Tuesday they learned a new tether system. The technique includes a diver tethered by rope. The person on land gives them slack as they go out into the water. It allows the person holding the rope to guide the diver so that he effectively comb the search area.

Cody Mallet has been a diver with the fire department for four years. He said he is excited to learn the new techniques Cospelich is teaching them.

"It's a lot easier under water when you know what the person on land's thinking and the person in the water knows what you're thinking," said Mallet.

Cospelich feels that more people should share their talents and expertise with their communities.

"There are a lot of people in the community, who are capable of helping. There comes a time when you say rather than what the town can do for me, you need to think about, well what can I do for the town," said Cospelich.

He said his goal would be for the divers have enough training to deal with any situation in Stone County and assist other cities with dives however possible. The training process will be slow, but well worth it in the end.

The Wiggins Fire Department hosts a meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at the Fire House for those interested in volunteering.

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